Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton told Newsmax Monday that he hopes reinstating former President Donald Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” policy will help stem the tide of surging illegal migrant crossings at the southern border.
“We certainly hope it will. It did under the Trump administration because the Trump administration took it seriously, they implemented it fully, and they enforced it, so border patrol could turn people back if they were claiming asylum to wait for their hearing rather than letting them in,” Paxton said on “American Agenda” Monday. “So, we're going to see in the next few weeks whether the Biden administration is actually going to follow through on what federal law requires.”
Under the Trump era policy, called “Migrant Protection Protocols,” but more widely known as “Remain in Mexico,” asylum seekers would stay in Mexico until their scheduled court hearing in the United States.
On his first day in office, President Joe Biden, who called the policy “inhumane” during the 2020 campaign, suspended it until a federal judge in Texas said the Biden administration “violated the law” when it suspended the program, and ordered its return in August, drawing the ire of immigration advocates.
The United States Supreme Court refused to block the lower court’s order to reinstate the policy on Aug. 24 in a 6-3 decision with the three liberal justices in dissent, according to the Associated Press.
“The reality is the Biden administration could have negotiated a much better deal with Mexico, and we are particularly upset with the Biden administration's choice to not only reinstate the so-called Migrant Protection Protocols but actually to expand them to all Western hemisphere nationals, including Haitians who were previously exempt from MPP under Trump, and that was not required by the court,” American Immigration Council policy counsel Aaron Reichlin-Melnick told NPR in august.
The legal moves came over the summer as the number of illegal migrant crossings reached record numbers, averaging 200,000 per month, and a total of between 1.5-2 million crossings since Biden took office in January.
Paxton said the changes being made to the policy by the Biden administration do not concern him as they are mainly procedural in nature, but he will wait and see during the next several weeks if the administration enforces the policy, following the court order.
Some Democrats are now lashing out at Biden for expanding some provisions of the policy to other western nations.
"By adding new nationalities to this policy, applying Remain-in-Mexico border-wide, and limiting access to counsel to a mere 24-hours before individuals and entire families are returned to Mexico, the Administration is going far beyond a good-faith implementation of the court's order," Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., said in a Dec. 2 CNN story about restarting the policy.
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